Maybe I’m getting old and my memory is fading, but I don’t recall the bye week before the Super Bowl ever being this busy in the Tuley’s Takes home office. I know the calendar is thrown off with the NFL adding the 18th week to the regular season and pushing back the playoff schedule. And I know we’ve usually had college and pro basketball and some golf to distract us while waiting for Super Bowl Week, but this year we also have the NHL All-Star Game and the NFL Pro Bowl – and they’re both here in Vegas!!!
Anyway, I was in a pretty good mood when our trio of best bets started on Friday afternoon. Actually, it didn’t started too well as Creighton (+ 6.5) was run out of the gym by Seton Hall and never close to covering, but the Cavaliers (+ 4.5, though closed + 7) played great against the Hornets and pulled off the outright upset and then San Diego State (+ 3) ost to Colorado State but covered the short number, so we went 2-of-3, which ain’t bad if you’ve been getting my Meat Loaf references.
Let’s recap the rest of Friday night’s action and then look for some plays on Saturday. Please also check out my “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column at VSiN.com/horses as me and my friends try to find value on the ponies in between the b-ball action.
NBA: Faves went 5-4 SU but dogs led 5-4 ATS due to the Pistons ( 11) covering in a 102-93 loss vs. the Celtics. The upsets were by the Cavaliers (+ 7 at Hornets), Pelicans (+ 5.5 at Nuggets), Thunder (+ 6 at Blazers) and Mavericks (+ 1 vs. 76ers). Unders went 7-2 if grading Rockers-Spurs at closing total of 237.5 and final score of Spurs 131, Rockets 106 for total of 237. Some books closed at 237 for a push, while Circa actually closed at 236.5 with the Over cashing vs. the closing number.
CBB: There weren't any Top 25 teams playing on Friday night. The biggest upset on the betting board was Ball State beating Toledo 93-83 as a 9-point home underdog and + 330 on the money line. There’s a full slate on Saturday, including 20 of the Top 25 in action.
SuperBowl odds update (10:30 p.m. PT Friday): Rams continue to be 4.5-point favorites vs. Bengals at nearly all Las Vegas books, though Treasure Island is still dealing Rams -4 -120 (and Bengals + 4 + 100) while William Hill/Caesars is down to Rams -4. Over/Under is still a solid 48.5.
Illinois + 1.5 at Indiana: I’m doing an about-face here as I went against Illinois with Wisconsin the other night, but I’m now convinced Illinois could be the best team in the Big Ten. The number is obviously short (though some + 2s are out there, but looking for the minor upset.
Wizards + 7.5 vs. Suns: Longtime readers will recognize this as an “anti-swagger” play as the Suns had their 11-game winning streak on Thursday night and now visit the Wizards in a let-down spot. Since the Suns have been on a roll and bettors have been jumping on the bandwagon, this line is inflated a little bit based on recent results.I know the Wizards are without Bradley Beal, but they were able to knock off the 76ers on Wednesday. We’re not calling for the outright upset, but just for the Wizards to stay close enough. The Suns are only 10-12 ATS this season when laying 7.5 points or more, so they’ve had problems covering even when not in an anti-swagger spot.
Good luck today (and every day!).